Needham Market skipper Rhys Barber thought his ‘goal’ was onside

RHYS Barber thought he was onside when he put the ball into the net for what would have been the equaliser in yesterday’s Ryman League Division One North play-off final.

The Needham Market skipper sidefooted home in the 70th minute after Sam Newson’s volley had been parried into his path by Enfield keeper Noel Imber, but his effort was disallowed and Needham went on to lose 1-0 and miss out on promotion to the Ryman Premier for the second season in succession.

Barber said: “To be honest I can’t really say, but I thought I was onside. I followed the shot up and turned round and saw the linesman’s flag was up and he was in a good position to tell.

“It is very disappointing to lose, but we have done well to get into the play-offs this season.

“I think if we had more time to rest after Friday’s semi-final we may have caused them a few more problems, but it was always going to be an uphill struggle playing at their place after just 36 hours’ rest.

“After they went 1-0 up they shut up shop, and apart from the one I put into the net their keeper didn’t really have to make a save.

“They beat us 1-0 at our place recently, and it was always going to be difficult to get a result here.”

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Enfield Town boss Steve Newing said: “I thought we were the better side and created more chances, and if we had taken them we would have won by two or three goals.

“I think the right team has gone up as we finished second and were ten points clear of third and 13 points clear of fourth and fifth.”

However, he did have some words of enouragement for Needham Market.

“It is only a matter of time before they get promoted, although you have to try to win it, otherwise you end up in the lottery of the play-offs.

“I think they would hold their own in the Ryman Premier, and hopefully we will meet them again the season after next in that division.”

Needham chairman David Bugg said: “I think it was too big an ask after playing extra time on Friday night and we just came up short.

“It has been a good season and we have done well again.

“I thought we should have had a penalty in the first half, and if that had been given the outcome could have been different.”

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